Manchester plans eruv

Whitefield Hebrew Congregation has submitted a planning application to Bury Council for the first Manchester eruv.

The proposed eruv - a religious boundary permitting, for example, the pushing of prams or wheelchairs on Shabbat - would cover under a square mile north of the city where several thousand Jews live. It would require the construction of just three eruv poles.

Whitefield Synagogue's Rabbi Jonathan Guttentag says the "ingenious" design by an eruv expert in Antwerp means it could be up and running within nine months at a lower cost than those in the London area.

However, project manager Simon Marks pointed out that "we have to do work on various fences and walls".

Rabbi Guttentag added: "Bury's Highway Network Services have been very co-operative in working on a design using the top of lamp-posts to carry any wire.

"It will use specially designed brackets to go on them. The design achieves an eruv with minimum intrusion and minimum new street furniture.

"We are quietly confident that we should get permission."

He hopes an eruv will enable young families to better enjoy the Shabbat atmosphere and more children to attend synagogue.

The application is the product of five years' halachic and technical work. The synagogue has been explaining the project to local residents and a decision from the council is expected by mid October.

    Last updated: 11:31am, August 27 2010